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John’s Hole man slapped with 14-year sentence for store robbery

John’s Hole man slapped with 14-year sentence for store robbery

Twenty-four-year-old Shadrach Thompson of John’s Hole has been sentenced to 14 years and six months in prison for the March 2020 armed robbery committed at the E&B Supermarket in Palestina.

High Court judge, Justice Richard Floyd, handed down the sentence last month following Thompson’s conviction roughly three months earlier.

The court ruled that Thompson should be credited for time already served in prison; reducing the sentence to 12 years and 10 months.

However, in delivering the sentence, Justice Floyd said Thompson held a record for similar property offences — specifically burglary — for which he previously received custodial sentences.

It was concluded that he was therefore not a man of good character and this was deemed an aggravating factor in his sentencing.

Although a social inquiry report indicated a difficult childhood, the offender reportedly had contact with his family and was gainfully employed up till his incarceration.

According to Justice Floyd, the robbery was clearly planned and had a degree of sophistication given the clothing Thompson wore to commit the crime, and the use of a firearm by pointing it at a store clerk and threatening to use it if his demands were not complied with.

He noted that “it was only through sheer good fortune that no one was injured or killed”.

What the court heard happened


The court heard that shortly before closing time on March 24, the cashier was at the checkout counter and another employee was in the aisle restocking shelves when two armed men wearing dark entered the store.

One of the robbers was wearing a pair of dark gloves, the court heard.

It is reported that, upon entering the store, the first robber pushed open the door with his bare hands and with a loaded firearm, headed to the counter brandishing the weapon and demanded money from the cashier.

The employee complied and opened the cash register and stepped back while the robber filled his pockets with cash.

Meanwhile, the second robber followed another employee to the back of the store, and while pointing a firearm in his direction, snatched a gold chain that the employee was wearing around his neck.

One of the robbers reportedly attempted to enter the back of the store, but the door was locked so he returned to his accomplice who was still at the cash register.

The glove-wearing robber then attempted to wipe his accomplice’s fingerprints from surfaces he had made contact with. They made off with roughly $300, the coin tray and the chain, which had an estimated value of $450.

Evidence


The court further heard that the robber who was not wearing gloves, pushed the glass doors with his bare hands while exiting the store.

A report was made to the police and investigations commenced.

Footage from Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras was recovered. The crime scene was also processed and fingerprints of the bare-handed bandit were lifted.

On April 16, police conducted an audiovisual interview with Thompson on suspicion of being part of the robbery and the allegations were put to him. He reportedly denied them.

Thompson reportedly claimed that he did not go to the store when the incident occurred, nor had he been there in recent times. He also denied any knowledge of the incident, the court heard.

During the course of the interview, police asked for his fingerprints, and he refused to provide it. However, later that day, he told police he had changed his mind and wanted to provide his fingerprints. His fingerprints were then taken and compared against those left behind by one of the suspected robbers and it matched.

He was subsequently charged for the offense.

Patrice Hickson, appeared for the Crown while Thompson was defended by Ruthilia Maximea.

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